Government-backed hackers are targeting major news organizations and journalists, according to two Google researchers.

Speaking at the Black Hat hacker's conference in Singapore, Shane Huntley and Morgan Marquis-Boire said that 21 of the top 25 news organizations in the world have been hit, news agency Reuters reports.

The attacks bear all the fingerprints of state-backed hacking and are apparently the actions of foreign governments seeking information.

Accessing data

Several countries around the world, including the US, China, and Russia, are believed to be engaging in hacking to gain information. This is because journalists often keep data on top company personalities and information.

Huntley and Marquis-Boire warned that many journalists and news organizations were clueless when it came to the threat.

Huntley said there was a case in which Chinese hackers gained access to a news outlet by sending a fake questionnaire over email to journalists.

Most hacks on journalists come through email, the researchers said. Google monitors state-sponsored attacks and immediately warns those who might have fallen victim to a hacking attempt.

VIA The Independent